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Top-Shelf Tip No. 212:

"Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four-hour days."

Zig Ziglar

Do Less In Order To Do More

When leaders find themselves with more to do than time permits, they often turn to time management techniques. These are practices specially designed to help accomplish more work in the limited time available. According to leadership coach Lolly Daskal, trying to squeeze more work into the day can reduce productivity and effectiveness. Instead of working to do more, Daskal says leaders should do less, focusing on managing themselves instead of their time to make sure they accomplish their tasks. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Daskal's eight tips for doing less and getting more done. When faced with more work than time permits, it's time to rely on others and ask for help. Training, empowering and encouraging others to employ their talents is the best place to start.

Increase focus. Instead of staring at your to-do list and wondering how it will get done, focus specifically on the highest impact item and keep that focus until the task is complete. You will accomplish more being focused on your work than you will multi-tasking between high-priority tasks and low-priority tasks.

Strategize. Before tackling your to-do list, set aside time to systemize which items are priorities, and then strategize how to accomplish them. Instead of immediately diving into the bevy of daily tasks, spend time each morning in thought and planning. It'll help the rest of your day run smoother.

Use your strengths. It's more effective to work on tasks that you are skilled in than spinning your wheels in areas where you are still developing. Fulfill tasks that allow you to use your strengths and ask colleagues for help with tasks that are difficult or appear challenging. (It's OK to ask for help.)

Remain calm. Mindfulness is a state of awareness of the present moment. If you become overwhelmed, disrupt negative thought patterns by remembering to focus on the moment, and on the single task at hand. Practicing mindfulness can calm you down and instill the clarity required to accomplish your tasks more efficiently.

Be grateful. People who appreciate you will do more to help you lighten your load. The more you express gratitude for the people around you who offer to help when possible, the more they will be willing to do what they can. (This means you should help them when you can, too.)

Don't reinvent the wheel. Spend your time on what works instead of trying to re-invent a better process or experiment with a new method. There is a time and place for trial and error and a time to focus on achieving the tasks at hand by following what is already in place.

Be your best. To give your best, you must be at your best. This starts with taking care of yourself. Make sure you plan for enough sleep, take breaks as necessary and take the time to reset in order to have the focus to give your best to everything you do.

Source: Lolly Daskal is an executive coach and the founder and CEO of Lead from Within.

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson